Palma to faithful: Don’t lose sight of the true spirit of Christmas
CEBU CITY, Philippines — Life-changing challenges, including the coronavirus pandemic, have greatly affected people all over the world including Cebuanos before the Christmas season arrived this year.
But the top Roman Catholic figure here urged them not to lose sight of the true spirit of Christmas – which is to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ.
“Welcoming the Child Jesus sa atong altar and kasing-kasing, mao gihapon kini ang spirit sa Christmas, hinungdan nga bisag dili bongga in the previous year, sayud kita kinasing-kasing Malipayong Pasko,” said Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma during his Homily on Thursday, December 24.
(Welcoming the Child Jesus in the altar and in our hearts, this still remains the true spirit of Christmas. This is why that even if this year’s celebration is not as grand as previously, we know deep in our hearts that it is still a Merry Christmas.)
Palma presided over the Christmas Eve Mass held at the Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral which, unlike in previous years, was attended by only a limited number of people due to prevailing restrictions to prevent the spread of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).
“(Christmas is) not like before nga daghan regalo and yet we still have the expressions of care. Not like before, dili bongga ang parties yet in every family there’s a simple salo-salo in the spirit of thanksgiving for the gift of life and family… Perhaps bisan karun daghan ganahan musimba and yet di pa man pwede but through virtual Masses, we’re still full of faith and love,” he said.
(Christmas is not like before wherein we have a lot of presents and yet we still have the expressions of care. Not like before, parties now are not as grand yet in every family, there’s a simple gathering in the spirit of thanksgiving for the gift of life and family… Perhaps, even now when a lot wanted to go to church but are still not able to do so but through virtual Masses, we’re still full of faith and love.)
Despite these, Palma told Cebuanos, especially those who attended the Mass at the Cathedral, that Christmas is ‘still worth celebrating because it heralds the birth of the Child Jesus’.
“Tungod sa grasya sa Ginoo, atong pagpangulat ang pagpangandam bisan pa dunay limitasyon makaingon kita nga pribileheyo nato magtigom sa Cathedral… it is still worth celebrating the birth of the Child Jesus,” he said.
The prelate also encouraged devotees to always extend a helping hand to ‘the little ones, the sick, downtrodden, and prisoners’ as Cebu is set to celebrate the feast of Snr. Sto. Niño next month.
“We look forward to the fifth centenary of the arrival of the image of Snr. Sto. Niño and for yes, he is our Bato Balani sa Gugma, and we come to him. And as a community, we should care for the little, sick, downtrodden, and prisoners as these give value and meaning to life,” Palma added. /rcg
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